U.S. gives IAEA $1 million to help detect Ebola cases

The U.S. State Department said on Jan. 8 that the U.S. will contribute $1 million to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a new project to aid detection of the Ebola virus in Africa.

Of the funding, $654,000 will be provided through the IAEA's Peaceful Uses Initiative with $350,000 through extra-budgetary contributions to the IAEA.

The funds will be used by the IAEA to develop equipment that uses nuclear science techniques and train personnel to streamline the detection process in suspected cases of the virus. These resources will be sent to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. 

The Peaceful Uses Initiative began in 2010 to promote peaceful applications of nuclear technology and development. Since the initiative's inception, the U.S. has contributed approximately $50 million, of which $45 million was allocated to specific projects.

Through this initiative, the IAEA aims to utilize nuclear science to address issues dealing with health, water and resource management, food security, nuclear power infrastructure and environmental protection.

IAEA donors include the U.S., the European Union and 17 other countries. Together, they have contributed $77 million to this initiative. This funding is on top of annual member state funding that averages $85 million.